Friday, August 18, 2017

Jerome Gambit: Quirky

The following Jerome Gambit game is a bit quirky. I can well imagine that such bits of humor keep Bill Wall interested in the otherwise "refuted" opening.

Wall, Bill - Guest709079, 2017

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.Bxf7+ 

4...Kxf7 5.Nxe5+ Kf8 6.Nxc6 bxc6

Capturing toward the center, as is often recommended. In this case, however, 6...dxc6 was better. See"Bad Penny".


White has scored 10 - 1 in the other games with this position in The Database, reflecting, at least in part, that Black's capture with the b-pawn instead of the d-pawn allows d2-d4 as a response. 

7...Bb6 8.O-O Ne7 

A novelty acccording to The Database.  Possibly better was 8...d5

9.c4 Ba6 10.c5

Things start to become odd.

An alternative is 10.Qa4!? Qc8 11.Be3 d5.

Instead, Bill offers the exchange. 

10...Bxf1 11.Kxf1 Ba5 

Black had also 11...d5!? 12.cxb6 axb6, with possibly a small edge.


Strangely, Stockfish 8 suggests instead the drawing-by-repetition line 12.Qa4 Bb6 13.Qd1 Ba5 14.Qa4, etc. 

12...Kg8 13.Qa3 

There is also the idea 13.b4!? Bxb4 14.Qb3+ Kf8 15.Qxb4 with an even game.

13...Bb6 14.Qb3+ Kf8 15.cxb6 cxb6 

15...axb6 might be a little bit better. 

White now has a pawn for the exchange.

16.Nc3 Ng6 17.Be3 Qh4 18.Kg1 Nf4 

Black hopes that his Knight and Queen will cooperate in an attack on the enemy King, but he needs to add a Rook or two (e.g. 18...Ke8 and 19...Rf8) to make progress.

19.g3 Nh3+ 20.Kg2 Qg4 21.Qd1

Not waiting until Black tries ...h7-h5-h4, boosting his attack. The Queen move also undermines the support of Black's Knight.

21...Qxd1 22.Rxd1 Nxf2 

There is no retreat. I don't think Black saw that coming.

23.Kxf2 Ke7 24.d5 c5 

With two pieces for a Rook, White has the advantage. Black tries to counter this by advancing his King - the exact opposite of what he should do, as King safety will become an issue.

25.Bg5+ Kd6 

See the previous note.

26.Nb5+ Ke5 27.Ke3 h6 28.Be7 Rhe8 29.Rf1 Rxe7 30.Rf5 checkmate

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Jerome Gambit: Inexplicable

In the following Jerome Gambit game Black is holding his own, having smartly returned the sacrificed piece to build his attack. In the meantime, White surprisingly suffers from a malady that usually pains Black: an undeveloped Queenside. The roles have been reversed: inexplicable.

Then Black decides to return another piece - for what reason, it is not clear. The decision eventually costs him another piece, and the game.

Again, inexplicable.

Wall, Bill - Guest637090, 2017

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.Bxf7+ 

4...Kxf7 5.Nxe5+ Nxe5 6.d4 Bxd4 7.Qxd4 Qf6 

Black's Queen often comes to f6 when defending against the Jerome. The not-so-subtle threat is ...Nf6+, winning White's Queen.

8.Qe3 Nh6 9.O-O 

There are only 3 other games in The Database that have the position after 8...Nh6, all games played by stretto. One of them:

9.Nc3 Rf8 10.Nd5 Qd8 11.O-O c6 12.Nf4 Kg8 13.Nh5 d6 14.Nxg7 Kxg7 15.Qxh6+ Kg8 16.f4 Nf7 17.Qh5 Qf6 18.f5 Kh8 19.Rf3 Rg8 20.Rh3 Rg7 21.Bf4 Bd7 22.Rd1 Rag8 23.g3 Be8 24.Qf3 Rg4 25.Be3 Ne5 26.Qf2 a6 27.c4 R4g7 28.b3 Ng4 29.Bd4 Nxf2 30.Bxf6 Nxh3+ 31.Kg2 Ng5 32.Bxg7+ Rxg7 33.Rxd6 Nxe4 34.Rd8 Rg8 35.Kf3 Bh5+ 36.Kxe4 Rxd8 37.f6 Kg8 38.Ke5 Kf7 39.h3 Bd1 40.g4 Bc2 41.g5 Bb1 42.a4 Ba2 43.b4 Bxc4 44.h4 Bb3 45.h5 Bxa4 46.g6+ hxg6 47.hxg6+ Kxg6 48.Ke6 Bb3+ 49.Ke7 Rg8 50.f7 b6 51.fxg8=Q+ Black forfeited on time, stretto - Tollens, FICS, 2008.


It is always tempting to harass the White Queen.

Also seen: 9...Rf8 10.Qb3+ Qe6 11.Qxe6+ dxe6 12.Bxh6 gxh6 13.Nc3 a6 14.Rad1 b6 15.f4 Ng4 16.Rde1 Bb7 17.h3 Nf6 18.e5 Nd5 19.Nxd5 Bxd5 20.b3 Rg8 21.c4 Rxg2+ 22.Kh1 Bb7 23.Rd1 Rxa2+ 24.Kg1 Rg2+ 25.Kh1 Rd2+ 26.Kg1 Rxd1 27.Rxd1 Ke7 28.Kf2 Rd8 29.Rg1 Kf7 30.Kg3 Rg8+ 31.Kh4 Rxg1 White resigned, stretto - Tollens, FICS, 2008. 


Or: 10.Qb3+ Ke8 11.f4 Nc6 12.e5 Qg6 13.Nd2 Nd4 14.Qd5 Ne2+ 15.Kh1 Nxh2 16.f5 Ng3+ 17.Kxh2 Nxf1+ 18.Nxf1 Qxf5 19.Ng3 Qxc2 20.Bg5 h6 21.Rf1 hxg5+ 22.Kg1 Qg6 23.Rf5 Qb6+ 24.Kf1 Qa6+ 25.Ke1 Qe6 26.Qe4 Qxa2 27.Ne2 Rh1+ 28.Kf2 Qxb2 29.Qd5 Qb6+ 30.Kf3 Qe6 31.Qe4 Rf1+ 32.Kg3 Rxf5 33.Qxf5 Game drawn as both players ran out of time, stretto - sLAVmi, FICS, 2008

10...h5 11. h3 h4 

Black's plan is simple, to drive off the enemy Queen and attack the enemy King. His Rook is well-placed for attack, and his King is not in danger, at least for now. He is willing to return the sacrificed piece in order to heat things up.

12.Qb3+ Kf8 13.f4 Nc6 14.hxg4 Nd4 15.Qe3 h3 

16.gxh3 Qh4 17.Rf2 d5 18.f5 

A messy position, but White may be a little bit better.


I am not sure what Black is up to, but it does not turn out well. Perhaps a time issue?

Stockfish 8 suggests that Black can keep the deficit to a pawn and a half with the line 18...Qxh3 19.Qxh3 Rxh3 20.Kg2 Rh4 21.Kg3 Rh1 22.Be3 Rg1+ 23.Kh3 Nb5 24.Rd2 Re1 25.Bf2 Rc1 26.Na3!? (returning an exchange) 26...Rxa1 27.Nxb5 Bd7 28.Nxc7 Rc8 29.Nxd5 Rxa2 30.Nc3 Rxb2 31.Nd1 Rcxc2 32.Rxd7 Rxf2 33.Nxf2 Rxf2 34.Rxb7. 


The Black Bishop is not going anywhere.

19...Qg3+ 20.Kf1 Qxh3+ 21.Ke1 Qh1+ 22.Rf1 Qh4+ 23.Qf2 Qh3 

White's Queenside pieces all are at home, yet he has a won game.

24.Qxf5+ Ke7 25.Bg5+ Kd6 26.Qxd5 checkmate

Monday, August 14, 2017

Jerome Gambit: Appearance and Reality

Black's slip on move 13 in the following Jerome Gambit does not look very significant, but it shows that the defender does not have as good a grasp of the position as the attacker does. A few more slips, and Black's game comes crashing down.

Wall, Bill - Guest100198
PlayChess, 2017

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.Bxf7+ 

4...Kxf7 5.Nxe5+ Nxe5 6.d4 Bxd4 7.Qxd4 d6 

8.O-O Nc6 9.Qd5+ Be6 10.Qh5+ g6 11.Qe2 Kg7 

If Black were not convinced that he is winning - the extra piece! - he can now smile happily to himself as White's Queen is driven from pillar to post.

12.Nc3 a6 13.f4 Nge7 

I was flabbergasted to see that Stockfish 8 gave White a slight edge after this move, preferring 13...Qf6.

How can that be? It turns out that the position has hidden complications, and Black should have restrained White's f-pawn.

14.f5 gxf5 15.exf5 

Exposing Black's Bishop to attack, encouraging his response.

15...Bxf5 16.Rxf5 Nxf5 17.Qg4+ Kf7 

Now it looks like White will be down the exchange after 18.Qxf5+, but Bill has seen further.

18.Bg5 Qd7 19.Rf1 Ncd4 

This looks like an oversight due to shortage of time.

The Knight at f5 needs further protection, but the defender should have gone to e7. The play would then continue to be complicated, with White for choice, i.e. 19...Nce7 20.Bxe7 Kxe7 21.Qg5+ Ke8 22.Nd5 Qg7 23.Re1+ Kd7 24.Qxf5+ Kd8 25.Re7 Qxe7 26.Nxe7 Kxe7 . Black's uneasy King gives White's Queen chances to pick up materaial against the two Rooks.

20.Qxd4 Rhf8

Recruiting support for the Knight. 

21.Qg4 Ke8 

Relieving the double pin on the Knight, but there is nothing but misery ahead. The position is too complicated and too deadly to survive.



The action moves over to the e-file. If Black's King tried to slip out with  22...Kf7, instead, White could collect a piece with 23.Rxf5+ and after 23...Kg8 play the threatening 24.Bf6, which will net him a further exchange.

23.Re1 Rf7 24.Nd5 Kf8 25.Nxe7 Re8 

Black tries a pin of his own, but the game is over.

26.Bh6+ Rg7 27.Rf1+ Black resigned

It is checkmate the next move.